Last modified on May 25, 2021, at 01:14

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith, Jr.

For other Joseph Smiths, see Joseph F. Smith or Joseph Fielding Smith.

Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805 - 1844) was the founder and 1st President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph Smith was the first prophet, seer and revelator of the church. Joseph was born on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont.

VisionsEdit

Joseph Smith's First Vision according to one of the three accounts that differ on whom was seen

After hearing the conflicting claims of different Protestant preachers, Smith studied the Bible for himself. According to accounts recorded several years later, he decided to ask God which church he should join. In these later accounts, he declared that in the Spring of 1820 he saw a vision of a heavenly being or beings. In the various accounts he gave of the vision, the being or beings were either God (meaning the Father) alone, or God and Jesus, or angels without God and Jesus. Because there is no contemporary record of his relating this vision to anyone before 1837, and because of the variance in his different accounts of whom was seen in the vision, historians have conjectured that the story of the First Vision was invented after the model of the spiritual experience that the famous evangelist Charles Finney. Finney’s account of a profound spiritual experience while he was seeking God in the woods in the fall of 1821 was well known. For a discussion of the variation between Smith’s accounts of which heavenly beings he saw, as well as the question of the historicity of this “first” vision, see the First Vision page.

Before any account of the First Vision was made public, however, Smith claimed to have been repeatedly visited by an angel named Moroni, from 1823 to 1827. According to Smith's account, Moroni showed him where to find buried gold plates. The plates were said to contain the full gospel of Jesus Christ in "reformed Egyptian." Smith claimed to have translated these gold plates by the inspiration of God, using what he called "Urim and Thummim" (referring to the ancient sacred stones embedded on the breastplate of the high priest of Aaron, that gave information from God) that were also furnished to him for the purpose. He published the translation in 1830 as the Book of Mormon.[1] The plates are not available for examination because, according to Smith, the angel took them after the translation was completed.

It was claimed that, on May 15, 1829, the resurrected John the Baptist appeared to Joseph and Oliver Cowdery and gave them the authority to baptize.[2] In 1829 the apostles Peter, James, and John gave them the authority to restore Christ's Church.[3]

Joseph Smith also worked on a revision of the King James Bible known as the Inspired Version of the Bible. It was not published until after his death.

Early YearsEdit

Joseph Smith, Jr. was born December 23, 1805, in Sharon Vermont, the son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. Important resources for the study of his early years are his biography as written by his mother[4] and a book by Eber Howe, published in 1843, that contained a series of affidavits from people who knew Smith and who discredited his accounts of visitation by angels, etc.[5] These two references—Lucy Smith’s biography and Howe’s anti-Mormon book—are important to historians because his mother’s account is of course favorable, while Howe’s book is definitely antagonistic to the claims of Joseph Smith, yet the two accounts are in general agreement on the background and early years of Joseph Smith Jr.

Despite the several things in Lucy Smith’s account that are in agreement with the testimonies in Howe’s book, Mormon apologists could not do much to discredit her statements, since there was no doubt that the handwritten biography was in her own words, as she dictated them, with no credible theory that it could have been spurious. The attack of the LDS Church, then, was on Howe’s book, since its contents, if accepted, would lead to the conclusion that the origin of the LDS Church (Joseph Smith’s visions, and the supposed miraculous origin of the Book of Mormon), was built on deception from the very start. But strangely, in order to discredit Howe’s book, the attack of Mormon apologists largely concentrated on discrediting, not so much Eber Howe, but instead the character of Philastus Hurlbut. Howe had commissioned Hurlbut to gather various affidavits from a variety of people who knew Joseph Smith Jr. personally. In carrying out this commission, Hurlbut traveled to Palmyra New York, the Smiths’ home town, and obtained several affidavits from people who were familiar with the Smith family. These affidavits, duly sworn to before various judges and justices of the peace, were then incorporated in Howe’s book, Mormonism Unvailed (sic). It would be thought that any attempt to discredit the testimony of Howe’s book would focus on showing that the various citizens of Palmyra and other places who produced the affidavits were dishonest, as well as the various justices of the peace and judges who were witnesses to their testimonies. Realizing that this could not be done, Mormon apologists instead focused on showing that Philastus Hurlbut, who for a time was a Mormon, was a disreputable character. There is adequate evidence to support that claim, since in Hurlbut’s checkered career he had various charges leveled against him, including sexual immorality. But the character of Hurlbut is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the various testimonies that he collected, duly sworn to, are credible. Since there is every reason to believe that they are, they will be used as primary sources in reconstructing the life of Joseph Smith in what follows, along with what Lucy Smith wrote in the biography of her son. Howe’s book is available on the Web in the well-indexed and well-designed Web site of Dale Garland, a former member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who left the church after studying the life of Joseph Smith and the early history of the church.[6]

Involvement of the Smith Family in the OccultEdit

In the biography of her son, Lucy Smith wrote, “Let not the reader suppose that because I shall pursue another topic for a season that we stopt our labor and went at trying to win the faculty of Abrac, drawing Magic circles or sooth saying to the neglect of all kinds of business.”[7] Abrac “was a magical word that when written as a triangle on a piece of paper, and hung around the neck was supposed to help sick people recover.”[8]

The involvement of the Smith family with magic and money digging is affirmed by a neighbor, Willard Stafford, who wrote “A great part of their time was devoted to digging for money . . .”[9] It is also attested in a statement signed by fifty-one residents of Palmyra:

We, the undersigned, have been acquainted with the Smith family, for a number of years, while they resided near this place, and we have no hesitation in saying, that we consider them destitute of that moral character, which ought to entitle them to the confidence of any community. They were particularly famous for visionary projects, spent much of their time digging for money which they pretended was hid in the earth; and to this day, large excavations maybe seen in the earth, not far from their residence, where they used to spend their time in digging for hidden treasures. Joseph Smith, Senior, and his son Joseph, were in particular, considered entirely destitute of moral character, and addicted to vicious habits . . .[10]

This background in the occult helps explain why Joseph Smith Jr., throughout his career, used talismans such as peep stones as magical devices to persuade the superstitious that he had spiritual gifts and powers.

Lucy Smith also relates the following about the creativeness of her son in telling stories in their family setting:
During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of travelling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, as if he had spent his whole life with them.[11]

1820: Year of the First Vision?Edit

There are no records from the period of 1820 to 1838 of Smith sharing this record with anyone, despite his stating that his relating the vision brought him “great persecution.” This lack of any attestation of any attestation from contemporary sources is pointed out not only by Fawn Brodie, an apostate who wrote an extensive history of early Mormonism,[12] but also by LDS scholar James Allen.[13] LDS scholar Steven C. Harper agreed: “There is no evidence in the historical record that Joseph Smith told anyone but the minister of his vision for at least a decade.”[14] Fawn Brodie wrote: “If something happened that spring morning in 1820, it passed totally unnoticed in Joseph’s home town, and apparently did not even fix itself in the minds of members of his own family.”[15]

1822: Joseph Begins His Career as a Money DiggerEdit

The following is the testimony of Willard Chase, given and sworn to before a justice of the peace in 1833.

In the year 1822, I was engaged in digging a well. I employed Alvin and Joseph Smith to assist me; the latter of whom is now known as the Mormon prophet. After digging about twenty feet below the surface of the earth, we discovered a singularly appearing stone, which excited my curiosity. I brought it to the top of the well, and as we were examining it, Joseph put it into his hat, and then his face into the top of his hat . . . After obtaining the stone, he began to publish abroad what wonders he could discover by looking in it.”[16]

The next morning, Joseph asked if he could have the stone, “alledging that he could see in it.” Chase was reluctant to give Smith the stone, but said he would loan it to him. Smith then began to advertise what wonderful things he could see in the stone. This made such a disturbance among the superstitious that Chase asked it be returned. Then some time later, perhaps in 1825, Hyrum, Joseph’s brother, again requested to borrow the stone, pledging he would return it. He never did. Joseph continually used the stone after that as part of his money-digging scheme. It was to become the stone that Joseph used to “translate” the Book of Mormon, using the same technique of peering into the stone while he hid his face in his hat that he had used to deceive customers in his money-digging business. The magic of the peep-stone became the means of bringing a new divine revelation into the world.

1825: Money-Digging Leads to a Wife for JosephEdit

A man named Joseph Stowell came to Palmyra from Pennsylvania because he heard of the Smiths’ activities. He wanted help in finding a silver mine supposedly dug by the Spaniards. Joseph’s mother, Lucy Smith, said Mr. Stowell specifically sought out Joseph “on account of having heard that he possessed certain means by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye.”[17] Joseph traveled to Pennsylvania with Stowell, who paid him fourteen dollars a month plus free boarding in exchange for Joseph’s help in looking for the lost mine. They arrived at Harmony, Pennsylvania, and stayed for a time in the home of one Isaac Hale. During his stay at the Hale home, Joseph became fond of his host's daughter Emma. After Joseph’s father returned home, Joseph lodged with Stowell in South Bainbridge, New York, working on Stowell’s farm along with continuing to look for lost treasure, going to school in the winter, and making occasional trips to Pennsylvania to see Emma.

Hale, who initially helped subsidize Stowell’s treasure-seeking, eventually became disillusioned with the enterprise. At a later time (1834), Hale described Joseph while working for Stowell as follows: “His appearance at this time, was that of a careless young man—not very well educated, and very saucy and insolent to his father . . . Young Smith gave the ‘money-diggers’ great encouragement at first, but when they arrived in digging to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found—he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see. They then became discouraged, and soon after dispersed. This took place about the 17th of November, 1825.”[18] If Joseph had really seen a great vision of God, or of both God the Father and the Son, or of angels at some time in 1820 (according to the differing accounts), it had done nothing to change his character from someone who was insolent to his father, and who was still involved in deceiving people through his money-digging practice, as attested by his father-in-law.

1826: . . . And To Trouble with the LawEdit

During his time of helping Josiah Stowell look for hidden treasure and working part time on his farm, a relative of Stowell, Peter Bridgman, became concerned about Joseph’s dealings with Stowell. He filed charges against Joseph, who was brought before Judge Albert Neeley on March 20, 1826, charged with being “a disorderly person and an impostor” because of his occult practices in looking for buried treasure. He was convicted, as the court record shows:

People of State of New York vs. Joseph Smith. Warrant issued upon oath of Peter G. Bridgman, who informed that one Joseph Smith of Bainbridge was a disorderly person and an imposter. Prisoner brought into court March 20 [1826]. Prisoner examined. Says that he came from town of Palmyra, and had been at the house of Josiah Stowell in Bainbridge most of time since; had small part of time been employed in looking for mines, but he major part had been employed by said Stowell on his farm, and going to school; that he had a certain stone, which he had occasionally looked at to determine where hidden treasures in the bowels of the earth were; that he professed to tell in this manner where gold-mines were a distance under ground, and had looked for Mr. Stowell several times, and informed him where he could find those treasures, and Mr. Stowell had been engaged in digging for them; that at Palmyra he pretended to tell, by looking at this stone, where coined money was buried in Pennsylvania, and while at Palmyra he had frequently ascertained in that way where lost property was, of various kinds; that he has occasionally been in the habit of looking through this stone to find lost property for three years, but of late had pretty much given it up on account its injuring his health, especially his eyes—made them sore; that he did not solicit business of this kind, and had always rather declined having anything to do with this business.

And thereupon the Court finds the defendant guilty.

same [i.e. the People] vs. Joseph Smith The Glass Looker March 20, 1826. Misdemeanor. To my fees in examination of the above cause, 2.68

1827: Marriage to Emma Hale; Work Begins on Book of MormonEdit

Isaac Hale was concerned about Joseph’s interest in his daughter Emma, not only because of his perception of Joseph’s character, but also because he now realized that the money-digging business was based on deception and he did not want his daughter married to someone in this business. When Joseph asked for Emma’s hand, her father “holding Joseph to be a cheap impostor, thundered a refusal and drove him out of the house.”[19] Isaac Stowell, however, was in favor of their getting married, and so, while Hale was away on a hunting trip, he arranged for Emma to visit them in his home in South Bainbridge, where they were married in a secret ceremony on January 18, 1827. They then went to live with Joseph’s parents in Palmyra for the first part of 1827. In order to mollify his father-in-law, Joseph told Mr. Hale that “he had given up what he called ‘glass-looking,’ and that he expected to work hard for a living.”[20]


In August of 1827 Joseph and Emma went to the Hale home in order to get Emma’s belongings, borrowing a wagon from Peter Ingersoll, whom they hired to drive the wagon. Ingersoll records the meeting with Isaac Hale as follows:
When we arrived at Mr. Hale’s in Harmony, Pa from which place he had taken his wife, a scene presented itself, truly affecting. His father-in-law [Mr. Hale] addressed Joseph, in a flood of tears: “You have stolen my daughter and married her. I had much rather have followed her to her grave. You spend your time in digging for money—pretend to see it in a stone, and thus try to deceive people.” Joseph wept, and acknowledged he could not see in a stone now, nor never could; and that his former pretensions in that respect, were all false. He then promised to give up his old habits of digging for money and looking into stones. Mr. Hale told Joseph, if he would move to Pennsylvania and work for a living, he would assist him in getting into business. Joseph acceded to this proposition.”[21]

Ingersoll also relates that, when returning to New York with Ingersoll driving the wagon, Joseph cheated the gate-keeper of the toll road out of the proper fare. Ingersoll apparently did not write this to disparage Joseph’s character, because he described the cheating as a clever maneuver that “exhibited true yankee wit.”


In the next month, September 1827, Joseph was involved in a new project. He had obtained something that he claimed was revealed to him by an angel: A history of the earlier times of the New World that he was busy translating. Joseph claimed that the plates on which this history was written had been hidden in the Hill Cumorah near Joseph’s home, and that the angel had appeared to him in previous years but did not allow him to see the plates then. But in September of 1827 he was given the plates and some magic spectacles that would allow their translation. The spectacles were called Urim and Thurim, the names of the gems in the breastplate or Israel’s high priest (Exodus 28:30). Joseph built a box in which to put the plates or, according to the theory that denies the authenticity of the golden plates, the Spalding manuscript or some other contemporaneous document from which he could dictate to his scribe. At first that scribe was Emma, then Martin Harris, Later the job was taken over by Oliver Cowdery.


Because it was difficult to work on producing the manuscript in his parent’s home, Joseph and Emma moved back to the Hale farm, where Joseph continued the translation work. Although according to the angel this was supposed to be done using the “Urim and Thurim” magic spectacles to read the golden plates, that was not the way it was described by Harris, David Whitmer, and Joseph’s wife Emma. Instead, they said the Joseph used the same technique that was described earlier for finding hidden treasure: he screened himself from them in an adjoining room, put the peep-stone from his money-digging days in a hat, and then buried his face in the hat in order to see words that the peep-stone would produce.[22] The golden plates were completely irrelevant in this process, according to these early testimonies. As Sandra Tanner asks, “Why would God carefully preserve the plates and the divine “interpreters,” mentioned in the Book of Mormon, as a translation tool, when a magic stone found in a neighbor’s well, and then placed in a hat, worked just as well?”[23] Although the LDS Church for many years produced literature showing Joseph Smith looking at golden plates, in 2013 their official Web site acknowledged that Joseph Smith’s translating activity was the same as he had used for treasure hunting.[24] “Joseph Smith’s use of a seer stone when dictating the Book of Mormon is extremely consequential with regard to the truth claims of Mormonism. It discredits the honesty and credibility of his account of the origins of the Book of Mormon, establishes the folkloric, superstitious context of Mormon beginnings, contradicts the teaching of the Book of Mormon itself, undermines the reliability of the LDS Church’s teaching about its history, and disconnects the Book of Mormon from its supposed ancient physical basis.”[25]


In spite of this confusion regarding the gold plates, September of 1827 did mark a significant change in Joseph Smith’s priorities. From that point on, the translating of something to produce the Book of Mormon was his chief goal. He apparently had not set that goal as the founding of a new church, however; that was to come in the future, when the book finally came from the printer’s shop. But the start of the translation marked when Joseph’s attention turned away from money-digging to the production of an account of the early history of the New World. As such, this date is a more proper time for the true beginning of the Mormon movement than 1820, the time of the alleged First Vision, for which there are no contemporaneous documents earlier than 1832, and which, if it ever happened in any form, produced no change in either the direction of Joseph’s life or his character. As late as 1828, Joseph was not acting under the mandate of a supposed 1820 revelation that directed him not to be joined to any of the existing denominations. This is demonstrated by the next entry.

1828: Attempt to Join the Methodist ChurchEdit

In 1828, Smith applied for membership in the Methodist Church. His wife Emma was already a member; both circumstances cannot be reconciled with the warning he supposedly received from heavenly beings in 1820 that the creeds of all denominations were “an abomination” and he was not to join any of them. In response to Smith’s request for church membership, Emma’s cousin Joseph Lewis raised an objection to allowing Smith’s name to be added to the church rolls on the grounds of Smith’s dealing in magic, the occult, and money-digging:

I [Joseph Lewis], with Joshua McKune, a local preacher at that time, I think in June, 1828, heard on Saturday, that Joe Smith had joined the church on Wednesday afternoon, (as it was customary in those days to have circuit preaching at my father’s house on week-day). We thought it was a disgrace to the church to have a practicing necromancer, a dealer in enchantments and bleeding ghosts, in it. So on Sunday we went to father’s, the place of meeting that day, and got there in season to see Smith and talked with him some time in father’s shop before the meeting. Told him that his occupation, habits, and moral character were at variance with the discipline, that his name would be a disgrace to the church, that there should have been recantation, confession and at least promised reformation—that he could that day publicly ask that his name be stricken from the class book, or stand an investigation. He chose the former, and did that very day make the request that his name be taken off the class book.[26]

1830: Publication of Book of MormonEdit

In 1830 the “translation” work was done, and Martin Harris had mortgaged his farm in order to finance its publication by E. B. Grandin in Palmyra (March 26, 1830). This event apparently gave Smith enough confidence that he had produced something remarkable that the days of his searching for the right denomination came to an end. On the sixth of April of that year, he declared himself as the prophet of a newly organized church at the Peter Whitmer farm in Fayette, New York.

Imprisonment and DeathEdit

Smith had been imprisoned in Carthage, Illinois for destroying the printing press of the Nauvoo Expositor, however, he was charged with treason not long after so that he could not post bail. The Expositor had denounced (in its only printed edition) "false doctrines" (for instance the "doctrines of many gods") as well as leveled accusations of immorality and criminal activity. It also called for the repeal of the city charter, which would have removed all legal authority and protection from the city. Smith, the mayor at the time, saw this as libel, as well as dangerous to the city, so he had the printing press burned in the street. Due to outcry from many of their neighboring cities, he was imprisoned. On June 27th 1844, an angry mob stormed the prison. In an attempt to defend himself (with a pistol which had been smuggled in to him), Smith shot and wounded three men. He was apparently preparing to jump from the unbarred second floor window where he had been incarcerated, but was shot, causing him to fall injured to the ground below. Four men shot him to death on the ground. None of the assailants were convicted. His brother Hyrum (who was also armed with a pistol) was shot in the face and killed as well. [27]

WivesEdit

Smith married Emma Hale (daughter of Isaac Hale) in 1827 against her father's wishes. A judge in South Bainbridge, New York married them. This angered her father, who said to Smith “You have stolen my daughter and married her. I had much rather have followed her to the grave.” [28] However, Emma was twenty-one at the time, so her father did not legally have to give consent.

Later, in Nauvoo, Joseph Smith founded an impressive militia, announced his intention to run for President of the United States, and tried to establish polygamy. Between 1841 and 1843, Joseph married more than thirty wives although he kept the practice hidden from the public. Joseph claimed to receive a revelation regarding this “new and everlasting covenant” of plural marriage, partly directed at Emma - Doctrine and Covenants 132:

D&C 132:1 Verily, thus saith the Lord...

D&C 132:4 ...no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

D&C 132:52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those [wives] that have been given unto my servant Joseph...

D&C 132:55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then...I will...give unto him an hundred fold in this world”

D&C 132:62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him...he cannot commit adultery...

D&C 132:64 ...if any man have a wife...and he teaches unto her [this] law...then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed...

Despite the document's stipulation that the multiple wives be "virgins", Smith was "sealed" to eleven women who had current marriages to other men (who were still alive at the time of each woman's marriage to Smith). Defenders of the church argue that, according to their theology, a sealing is not the same as a marriage (though marriage often accompanies a sealing), and that Joseph never had relations with any of these still-married women, so therefore Joseph wasn't committing polyandry.

Smith's wives (and their husbands) were: Emma Hale, Fanny Alger (16 years old), Lucinda Morgan Harris (married to George W Harris), Louisa Beaman, Zina Huntington Jacobs (married to Henry Jacobs), Presendia Huntington Buell (married to Norman Buell), Agnes Coolbrith, Sylvia Sessions Lyon (married to Windsor Lyon), Mary Rollins Lightner (married to Adam Lightner), Patty Bartlett Sessions (married to David Sessions), Marinda Johnson Hyde (married to Orson Hyde), Elizabeth Davis Durfee (married to Jabez Durfee), Sarah Kingsley Cleveland (married to John Cleveland), Delcena Johnson, Eliza R. Snow, Sarah Ann Whitney (17 years old), Martha McBride Knight, Ruth Vose Sayers (married to Edward Sayers), Flora Ann Woodworth, Emily Dow Partridge, Eliza Maria Partridge, Almera Johnson, Lucy Walker (17 years old), Sarah Lawrence (17 years old), Maria Lawrence, Helen Mar Kimball (14 years old), Hanna Ells, Elvira Cowles Holmes (married to Jonathan Holmes), Rhoda Richards, Desdemona Fullmer, Olive Frost, Melissa Lott, Nancy Winchester (14 years old) and Fanny Young.[29][30]

Although there is some historic indication that Smith married more women than those listed here (such as Clarissa Reed Hancock, the mother of John Reed Hancock), the evidence is not conclusive.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Translation of the Book of Mormon Mormon.org
  2. Authority to baptize Mormon.org
  3. Authority of Apostles Mormon.org
  4. Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors for Many Generations, by Lucy Smith (Liverpool England: S. W. Richards, 1853).
  5. Mormonism Unvailed, by Eber D. Howe (Painesville: E. D. Howe publisher, 1834), p. 237.
  6. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed.
  7. Lavina Fielding Anderson, ed., Lucy’s Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith’s Family Memoir (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2001), p. 323. This is in the original handwritten copy, although it is omitted in typeset later versions.
  8. “Joseph Smith—The Early Years”, by Sandra Tanner, in Salt Lake City Messenger (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, May 2010), Issue 114, p. 10.
  9. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed,, p. 237.
  10. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, p 261.
  11. Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches, p. 86.
  12. Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945 ed.), p. 24.
  13. James B. Allen, “The Significance of Joseph Smith’s ‘First Vision’ in Mormon Thought,” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Autumn 1966): p. 33.
  14. Steven C. Harper First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), p. 11. This statement must be qualified by saying that the only record of recounting the vision to a minister comes from Smith’s later writings, not from any contemporary record.
  15. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, p. 25.
  16. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, pp. 240–41.
  17. Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches, pp. 91–92.
  18. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, pp. 262–64.]
  19. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, p. 31.
  20. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, pp. 263–64. For many years Mormon apologists, realizing how damaging this was to the LDS account of Joseph having received, in 1820, a vision in which he was told that all denominations were an abomination to the Lord and he was to join none of them, denied the authenticity of this account in Howe’s book. Howe’s account and transcript of the court record, however, were vindicated when Wesley Walters discovered the original court record in the basement of the Bainbridge court house, a photograph of which is available at http://utlm.org/newsletters/pdfnewsletters/114saltlakecitymessenger.pdf, p. 8.
  21. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, pp. 234–35.
  22. “The Book of Mormon: Another Bible or Another Bible Forgery? Part I,” by Ronald Huggins, in Salt Lake City Messenger (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry), Issue 127 (Nov. 2016), p. 2.
  23. “Grappling with the Past: LDS Church’s New Statements on Gospel Topics,” by Sandra Tanner, in Salt Lake City Messenger (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry) Issue 122 (May 2014), p. 2.
  24. “Upon This Rock” by Robert M. Bowman Jr., in Salt Lake City Messenger (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry) Issue 125 (November 2015), p. 2. Page 1 has a color photo of Smith’s “seer stones,” one of which was used in the “translation” of the Book of Mormon.
  25. ibid., p. 10.
  26. The Amboy Journal, (June 11, 1879): p. 1; also Early Mormon Documents, Dan Vogel ed. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002) vol. 4, pp. 309–10.
  27. Martyr for God JosephSmith.net
  28. MORMON ENIGMA: EMMA HALE SMITH (Newell & Avery, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1994)
  29. Family Search Familysearch.org
  30. Wives of Joseph Smith WivesofJosephSmith.org

External linksEdit